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by Dr. Alan Lockwood

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PSR Kansas City Leads Coalition Effort to put Nuclear Weapons on the Ballot

November 16, 2011

Having once again collected in the range of 5,000 signatures from Kansas City Missouri residents, this time on two separate initiative petitions, PSR KC and KC Peace Planters turned in both sets of petitions to the City Clerk  at 10 am on Monday, November 14, 2011.

Below is a short summary of each initiative, and below that is the precise legal language. We listened carefully to objections raised by council members in our previous effort, and we believe these are strengthened and will more clearly stand up in litigation, if necessary. 

Summary, Petition 1: Removal of City financial involvement in production of nuclear weapons components
1. Kansas City won’t make any more contracts for parts for nuclear weapons or finance their production in the future.
2. Kansas City will divest itself of the municipal bonds for nuclear weapons parts, to the extent allowed by law.
3. No local agency will own the plant.
4. If the court knocks down any provision, that provision can be cut off and the rest remain.

Summary, Petition 2: Safeguarding jobs with contingency plans for nuclear weapons facilities
1. The City will make detailed contingency plans for converting nuclear weapons plants in case they’re no longer utilized for that purpose.
2. Renewable energy production is an option to be considered.
3. The plans will be updated annually.
4. The plans will be available for public comment.

Legal Wording, Petition 1:
Removal of City financial involvement in production of nuclear weapons components

1) The City of Kansas City, Missouri (“the City”) shall not enter into any future contracts whereby it will be directly financially involved in any facilities that produce or procure components for, assemble, or refurbish nuclear weapons except for outside infrastructure improvements customarily provided by cities. The City is also barred from funding or subsidizing such a facility through taxes, bonds, loans, tax credits, credit, or any other financial scheme or mechanism.
2) The City shall use all means consistent with law and existing contractual obligations to divest itself as soon as reasonably feasible of current municipal bonds which finance or subsidize any facility which produces or procures any parts for, assembles, or refurbishes nuclear weapons.
3) From the effective date of this ordinance, no municipal agency, nor any body or entity controlled or appointed by the City, is authorized to own or lease any facilities involved in nuclear weapons production or procurement, assembly, or refurbishing.
4) The provisions of this Ordinance are severable. If any court of competent jurisdiction decides that any section, clause, sentence, part, or provision of this Ordinance is illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect, impair, or invalidate any of the remaining sections, clauses, sentences, parts, or provisions of the Ordinance.

Legal Wording, Petition 2:
Safeguarding jobs with contingency plans for nuclear weapons facilities

1) The City of Kansas City, Missouri (“the City”) shall provide for the professional preparation of at least one economic conversion plan at any nuclear-weapons components production and procurement facilities within its boundaries, whether well-established or being built for the purpose, for the contingency that the federal government exercises its established contractual option of vacating the premises, or fails to make appropriations for the continued use of the facility, or that such facilities become abandoned or under-utilized. Such plans will include technical specifications, financial calculations, and provisions for any necessary program for retraining workers to the skills required at the converted facility, so that potential developers can be contacted quickly and will have adequate information to find the proposal attractive to their interests.
2) Production of new environmentally sound energy or other environmental technologies which will benefit the residents of the municipality and surrounding areas should be considered as an option for these facilities.
3) The plan or plans are to be reviewed and updated annually until such time as the facility has been successfully converted to other uses or appropriate contracts are in place to do so.
4) The plan or plans are to be made available for public inspection, allowing for public comment for improvement.

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    2018 Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship Awards Ceremony
    Join Oregon PSR to celebrate the high school student winners of this year's scholarship. Featuring keynote speaker Marshallese anti-nuclear and climate activist and poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner. April 28 at 6 pm in Portland, Oregon.